Despite the recent bank crashes and the increased recession fears they caused, markets have stabilized and performed well in the latter half of March and the beginning of April. Over the past months, the S&P 500 gained almost 7% and holds its position above 4,100. Similar developments occurred for gold and oil prices, with gold being up nearly 7% too, and oil close to 8%. While the gains from the equity markets can be largely attributed to a sign of relief that the banking crisis did not amount to a full crisis and a real possibility of the rate hikes stopping. The strong performance of gold can be largely attributed to the same factors. Within the recent bull run, gold reclaimed the $2000 per ounce mark. While oil plummeted for most of the year, its increase is caused by OPEC+’s last meeting when they announced a sharp production cut.
The crypto industry has been quiet in 2023 thus far. Despite the banking crisis and recession fears, the industry has done. Bitcoin (BTC), the most important coin is almost 80% in 2023 as of the time of writing. While Ethereum (ETH) has been less successful, it is still up 60%. Solana (SOL), a cryptocurrency that has been heralded as Ethereum-killer in 2021 completely collapsed in 2022 when it turned out the chain has substantial security issues. To address these issues the coin has been shut down multiple times which made investors lose confidence in the chain. On 12th April 2023, ETH will implement its Shanghai upgrade which led cryptos rally. The Shanghai upgrade will allow validators and stakers to withdraw their assets from the Beacon chain (the original sub-chain which allowed for the proof-of-stake consensus algorithm), which has not been possible since 2020. In total, more than 16 million ETH were locked on the Beacon chain so far. Although it is another upgrade to the chain, many see this update as “price”-neutral. While it makes staking and validating more attractive now, a lot of capital was locked and will be free for the first time in more than two years. However, most people think that not much will be withdrawn, given the dominance of ETH in DeFi and the relatively high staking yield. Additionally, ETH was worth a lot more and people will want to chase similar highs. While most cryptos rallied ahead of the upgrade, ETH was outpaced by both BTC and SOL. BTC additionally surpassed the $30k mark for the first time in a year ahead of the upgrade. Figure 1 shows the YTD of the three coins mentioned above.